Factory of Tears is a poetry collection by the Belarusian writer Valzhyna Mort published in 2008.

The first thing I would like to comment on is my slight surprise when I began reading the collection as I quickly realised that there were two versions of each poem within the book: the original Belarusian form and, thankfully, a translated version for those that are not too deft with the art of foreign languages. This struck me as odd, mostly because I had never read a poetry collection that had done multiple language versions of the same poem before but at the same time, I admired Mort and the translators of the collection, Elizabeth Oehikers Wright and Franz Wright, for not abandoning the original format of the poem and I am sure people who are more familiar with Belarusian will be grateful for a comparison between the poems in their original and translated states.

As for the poetry itself, Mort’s writing is brilliant (or at least the translated forms were) and I enjoyed reading through the collection, despite the fact that I usually am critical of most poetry. Each poem within Factory of Tears is original and creative. It is clear that Mort put a lot of delicate precision to creating a great atmosphere with truly striking images, such as one comparison I personally loved, relating childbirth to crawling out of collapsed ruins. My personal favourite poems of the collection would have to be Belarusian I, And Now Imagine and the titular poem, Factory of Tears. My only real critique of the collection would be that, whilst I loved most of Factory of Tears, I disliked the poem White Trash in particular for being overly long and ultimately uninteresting, as it grows to feel like rambling after a while.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Factory of Tears though I admit that it is not my usual type of genre for reading and I probably wouldn’t have searched for the book on my own initiative. If you’re looking for some great and entertaining poetry to read, then give Factory of Tears a look because you shall most definitely enjoy it. If poetry might not be your favourite area of expertise, I would still suggest giving Factory of Tears some consideration, if only for a nice bit of change to explore a poetry collection that is intelligently and beautifully written.

For those of you that wish to purchase Factory of Tears follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/Factory-Lannan-Literary-Selections-Byelorussian/dp/1556592744